The following is a prepared testimony urging the San Diego City Council to take meaningful action and pass the PrOTECT ordinance. The testimony was delivered to the San Diego City Council by ACLU-SDIC Deputy Advocacy Director Christie Hill on June 29, 2021.
Good afternoon City Council,
My name is Christie Hill. I am the deputy advocacy director at the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties.
The ACLU is a proud member of the Coalition for Police Accountability & Transparency (CPAT).
The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) report demonstrates why city council needs to take meaningful action to address biased policing. This can begin with passing the PrOTECT ordinance.
According to CPE’s analysis, Black people experienced non-traffic stops 3.5 times as often as white people and were subjected to force five times as often as white people. Black people had the highest percentage of stops that resulted in either a warning or no action. This suggests that Black people are not being pulled over for legitimate public safety reasons. During traffic stops, Latinos were 2.2 times more likely to be searched, but less likely to be found with contraband, as compared to white people. Over 200,000 stops by SDPD were solely for reasonable suspicion. That is an incredible amount of stops that are based on an officer’s discretion.
The report also shows how Black and Latino children were more likely to have force used against them than white children. Police use of force against any child is wrong and unacceptable.
CPE’s website recognizes the impact of white supremacy in our world, including its impact in how communities are being policed. It is troubling to see language associated with this analysis from CPE and the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) that seek to avoid acknowledging the influence of racial bias on police practices.
Actions to address biased policing should match the magnitude of the problem. SDPD cannot address this problem themselves when they refuse to see a problem at all. City council must act by passing laws that drastically reduce the role, responsibilities and presence of police in San Diego. We urge the city council to support PrOTECT and thank Councilmember Montgomery Steppe for her leadership on this issue.
Thank you for your time and careful consideration.